top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Just for the Summer is another Jimenez story with wonderful banter and a romantic connection that's anchored in and shaped by incredibly complicated life circumstances.

Abby Jimenez is wonderful at crafting a satisfying romance that's anchored in serious issues, and in Just for the Summer, she offers up an irresistible rom-com premise with weighty, messy, real-life-imperfect conflicts galore.

Justin and Emma are strangers, but they both seem to have the same curse: after they break up with someone, the next person that person dates ends up being their soulmate. A Reddit thread and unlikely coincidences bring Justin and Emma into contact, and their initial spark is undeniable.

But Justin's family is going through an incredibly complicated and fraught time, and he's caring for his three younger siblings. Meanwhile Emma's unbalanced, often-absent mother is the reason she ended up in foster care over and over--and she's also the reason Emma can't settle down for more than a couple of months at a time.

When Justin's situation keeps getting more stressful and Emma's mother shows up, will the potentially serious feelings between them stand a chance against the push of real-life troubles?

Jimenez doesn't pull punches in crafting a heavy base of complicated, life-altering issues. Both main characters' mothers are faulted, far from perfect, and have made decisions that upend Justin and Emma's lives. In one case, it seems that grief and trauma are the cause of poor judgment; in the other, mental illness and narcissism seem to be the roots of destruction and harm.

There aren't magical solutions or outlandish developments; Emma and Justin must live with the consequences, and they are significant.

The conflicts that repeatedly keep Emma and Justin from their happy-ever-after feel plausibly limiting, yet their affection and banter are adorable, and their inability to overcome the obstacles in their way is heartbreaking.

The best-friendships are fantastic. Characters from other Jimenez books appear, although it took me time to figure out that Alexis, Daniel, and Neil were from Part of Your World.

I think Emma's best friend Maddy probably needs her own book (a la Christina Lauren's fantastic True Love Experiment spinoff for best friend Fizzy).

I listened to Just for the Summer as an audiobook.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Jimenez is also the author of Part of Your World, Yours Truly, The Friend Zone, and The Happy-Ever-After Playlist.


bottom of page